Governor Theatre

5 Chatham Square,
New York, NY 10038

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Liggett-Florin Booking Service

Previous Names: Chatham Theatre, New Chatham Square Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Front entrance of Governor Theater

The Chatham Theatre, which contained 491 first floor seats and 100 balcony seats, was listed at this address in the 1914-1915 edition of American Motion Picture Directory. By 1943, it was exclusively exhibiting Chinese language films and continued to do so until at least 1971. By 1950 it was operated by Liggett-Florin Booking Service.

It has since been demolished and today the site is occupied by the Chinatown Medical Imaging Center.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 29, 2005 at 8:17 am

Listed in the American Motion Picture Directory 1914 – 1915 as the Chatham Theatre.

It is listed as the Chatham Theatre in Film Daily Yearbooks from 1926 until at least 1957.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Listed as the Governor in my 1953 Film Daily Yearbook.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 6, 2012 at 7:19 am

A 1939 guide book to New York lists this house as the New Chatham Square Theatre, and says that it was showing Chinese language movies after 11:00 PM. It was one of fifteen foreign language movie theaters listed for Manhattan, and was the only one featuring Chinese films.

The December 13, 1913, issue of The Moving Picture World ran this item: “R. Goelet, 9 West 17th Street, will alter a loft building into a modern moving picture building, to cost $7,000. S. Kotinsky, 5 Chatham Square, is the lessee.” It’s unclear from the wording whether the new theater was actually at 5 Chatham Square. Possibly Mr. Kotinsky was already operating a theater at that address, and was opening another one elsewhere.

Flynn on May 7, 2012 at 8:19 am

Just added a picture of the front entrance I discovered by accident in the New York Public Library digital archives from 1936

stellachesler on December 18, 2012 at 10:56 am

My dad owned this theater in the sixties. It’s great to see photos of it (thank you for sharing them!). He imported movies from Hong Kong and was very proud to be the only theater showing all Chinese movies. I used to hang out in the cashier’s box and spend days walking all over Chinatown by myself. I was 7 years old and Chinatown was the safest part of Manhattan. The movies were all fire-breathing dragons, bright colors and high-pitched singing. It was a wonderful place for childhood memories.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 17, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Variety item added to photos.

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